Nick Kyrgio’s cryptic reaction to Newcombe Medal nomination alongside Ash Barty

Nick Kyrgios has responded cryptically to the news that he and retired champion Ash Barty are among the nominees for the Australian Tennis Player of the Year award – the Newcombe Medal.

Barty was nominated despite not playing another match after her triumph at the Australian Open in January.

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Kyrgios enjoyed his best season on the tour, reaching the final of Wimbledon and improving his rank to world No. 22. He also won the Australian Open doubles title with fellow countryman Thanasi Kokkinakis.

In response to a tweet about the nominees, Kyrgios said “come on” and sleeping emojis, cryptically implying boredom or his expectation of winning the award, which wouldn’t be surprising given his past exploits.

This comes after the controversial tennis star’s comments about Barty got him into hot water during the Australian Open in January, when he apparently claimed to have received more support from the Australian Open crowd than Barty did – on the same night she celebrated her grand -Slam title won.

“Ash’s father came to us and said the audience was the best he had ever seen. Obviously, Ash is a damn good player. But… people watch my games,” Kyrgios told the media at the post-match press conference.

Dubbed “deaf,” the comment came hours after the two Australians left the tournament as champions, with Barty winning the nation’s first Open title in 44 years and Kyrgios and Kokkinakis clinching the men’s doubles title.

While Barty wowed the crowd before receiving worldwide praise for her behavior, Kyrgios suggested leaving the biggest round of applause for him and Kokkinakis.

“I would say that we created probably the best atmosphere this tournament has ever seen, to be honest,” Kyrgios said at the post-match press conference.

“Everywhere in the world where I play, the stadiums are full.”

Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis from Australia. Recognition: Frey/TPN/Getty Images

Earlier this week, a frustrated Lleyton Hewitt weighed on Kyrgios’ stance after the young star turned down an opportunity to play for Australia in the Davis Cup, opting instead to attend an exhibition event in Saudi Arabia, the Diriyah Tennis Cup had where he is said to achieve a six-figure appearance fee.

After reaching the Davis Cup final for the first time in 19 years, Australia were chasing a 29th title but were defeated by Canada in a heartbreaking defeat before Hewitt was forced to go to the media to explain why the country ‘s No. 1 was not on the team .

“I don’t know. You have to ask him. I can’t try anymore,” Hewitt said.

“I try to come here with the best possible team that we can put together.”

His Australian tennis colleague Alex de Minaur also commented on the subject: “I tried it too. It just wasn’t meant to be.”

In a recent post on Instagram, de Minaur wrote that there is “no greater honor” than playing in the Davis Cup.

A fan then aimed at Kyrgios and asked if he was “busy buying handbags or something?”.

Kyrgios replied: “Actually will go to Saudi Arabia for six figures.”

Nick Kyrgios hits back at Alex de Minaur’s Instagram post. Recognition: Instagram

Kyrgios’ antics are nothing new to the tennis world but if Barty claims the Newcombe medal it will set a new fifth record for the prolific player.

Among the other nominees are three-time Grand Slam quarterfinalist Ajla Tomljanovic and Wimbledon doubles champions Matt Ebden and Max Purcell.

Also in the mix are Alex de Minaur and Storm Hunter (née Sanders), stars of Australia’s respective rounds to the 2022 Davis Cup and Billie Jean King Cup finals.

Barty won’t deny it, however, after the former world No. 1 famously became the country’s first Australian Open singles winner in 44 years with a hoodoo-busting triumph in January.

Ash Barty with the Australian Open trophy while visiting Uluru in February 2022. Recognition: Getty Images/Scott Barbour/Tennis Australia

Victory over American Danielle Collins in the Melbourne Park final was Barty’s last professional match before she dramatically retired from tennis six weeks later, a month before her 26th birthday.

The three-time Grand Slam champion has already won the Newcombe medal four times – in 2017, 2018, 2019 and last year – while sharing the gong with wheelchair wizard Dylan Alcott.

In most other years, Kyrgios would have won the award a second time.

The 27-year-old enjoyed a breakout season highlighted by his appearance in July’s Wimbledon title match.

Kyrgios also reached the quarterfinals of the US Open and shared the Australian Open doubles crown with Kokkinakis.

Nick Kyrgios from Australia. Recognition: Yuki Kurose/AP

Tomljanovic also had the best year of her career, reaching the last eight at both Wimbledon and the US Open, where she ended Serena Williams’ career with a magnificent third-round win over the 23-time Major winner.

But the honors for 2022 belong to Barty, who will receive a fitting tribute on December 12 on the night of Australian tennis nights at the Palladium Crown.

With AAP.

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James Brien

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